10 May 2005

Brief Programming Note...

Due to the fact that Erin and I will be taking in our first two Sox games of the year Tuesday and Wednesday (Tuesday on the Monster, Wednesday the LF Grandstand, as seen above), the normally scheduled "Jon Papelbon and Brandon Moss/ mL Standouts Updates" will have to be delayed until we return. Sorry.

Anyway, if you're watching NESN on Tuesday night, be sure to watch for Erin in the Monster seats. She'll be carrying in tow a sign meant to represent her devotion to Don Orsillo-

"God Don It, I (Heart) Orsillo!"

Clever, huh? The matchups favor the Sox in both games-

Tues.- Bronson Arroyo (4-0, 3.18) vs. Kirk Saarloos (1-2, 5.64)
Wed.- Matt Clement (4-0, 3.35) vs. Barry Zito (1-4, 5.48)

Will have pictures from the games as well.

MSN.com has an article on baseball uniforms- the 5 best and worst in the sport. A discussion near and dear to my heart. Included in the list is a link to a photo gallery of every uniform of every team. In the article, the author differentiates every uniform- judging even team's home and road against one another. Here's the list:

  1. San Diego Padres away

  2. Houston Astros home alternate

  3. New York Mets second road alternate

  4. Kansas City Royals road alternate

  5. Toronto Blue Jays- any one of 'em

  1. New York Yankees home

  2. Detroit Tigers home

  3. Boston Red Sox home and away

  4. San Francisco Giants away

  5. Chicago Cubs home

Couple of things. First off, those Padres away uniforms are great. I liked the "sand" color idea. The Astros one is bad- but not awful, and putting it on there while leaving any Diamondbacks jersey off is a serious knock against the list. It almost totally invalidates it.

In defense of the Mets too, the jersey shown and described there isn't one of their jerseys, it's their BP/ spring training uni. So that shouldn't count. This, however, is true:

Basically, the Mets need to lose the color black on all of their uniforms. Lose the black hats, black jerseys, black lettering, the works. Let's stick with tradition, guys. Blue and Orange.

I think this should be a league-wide mandate, but especially so for a team with such a great and cool looking color combination- royal blue and orange. It looks awesome, always did, and all the black trim and highlights and backgrounds just look like total shit. Seriously, that home black thing is awful. Just terrible. They're right about the Blue Jays ones too, especially from an organization that's had about 5 changes in the last 6 years, and all worse than the last. Remember that idiotic cartoon bird?

Obviously, the "best" list is hard to argue with- there are ones I like better, but these are all great as well. So just for fun- why don't I throw out my OWN list? You convinced me! I'm going to do it in the spirit of the original article- one specific uniform per entry, and I'm going to stop at mentioning a team only once, or we'd have the top 5 as the Arizona Diamondbacks wing of the selection process, and the top 2 as Sox ones. I digress...

  • Colorado Rockies alternate black, sleeveless away

  • Arizona Diamdbacks alternate black away

  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays sleeveless home

  • Toronto Blue Jays alternate black home

  • Baltimore Orioles alternate black home

  • BEST
    1. Boston Red Sox Home

    2. Los Angeles Dodgers Away

    3. San Francisco Giants Home

    4. Chicago Cubs Home (white pinstriped)

    5. Atlanta Braves Home

    6. New York Yankees Home

    7. St. Louis Cardinals Home

    8. Detroit Tigers Home

    9. Minnesota Twins Home

    10. Oakland Athletics Away (grey)

    I clearly favor the home uniforms, but sometimes the away bests them. In fact, if, say, Baltimore had the exact same road uniform next year, save for saying "BALTIMORE" instead of "ORIOLES" on the grey, it'd shoot up the list. Ditto the Cardinals.

    I also really liked the no-names decision in Chicago for the home jerseys, and with the Dodgers. LA went nuts and did it on their road ones too, which looks cool, but might be a bit confusing for some visiting fans trying to identify them. Hey, maybe it's a scheme with the scorebook making baron in every NL city.

    1. Derek Jeter, SS

    2. Carlos Beltran, CF

    3. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

    4. Vladimir Guerrero, RF

    5. Hideki Matsui, LF

    6. Jorge Posada, C

    7. Mike Lowell, DH

    8. Nick Johnson, 1B

    9. Miguel Cairo, 2B

    Randy Johnson, SP
    Mark Prior, SP
    Javier Vazquez, SP
    Mike Mussina, SP
    Ted Lilly/ Jon Lieber/ Carl Pavano, SP

    Damaso Marte, RP
    Yhency Brazoban, RP
    Francisco Rodriguez, RP
    Mariano Rivera, RP

    Honestly, if George Steinbrenner ever needs me to donate blood, or a kidney or some bone marrow- whatever keeps him alive and making decisions for the Yankees. Whatever it takes. All these missed opportunities from NY Post article from their Jeckyll and Hyde writer, Joel Sherman. He can give us a quote as amazingly revealing to the Yankee ineptitude and satisfying as:

    "For that kind of money [to Miguel Cairo] we could get [Tony] Womack."

    and end the article with this non-sensical bit of starry-eyed praise:

    The dynastic Yankees won many games by just showing up. They actually maintained their aura in losing the 2001 World Series because it was hard to fathom how they nearly won while being badly outplayed by Arizona.

    Some of his conclusions are iffy, and a lot of his points smell a bit like ignoring of subtlety in the interest of his point, but overall, great read. It's almost like reading about the Cuban Missile Crisis, considering how closely the rest of baseball came to disaster with all these near misses. Like:

    Two offseasons ago after Sheffield backed out of a verbal agreement for a contract, Steinbrenner told Cashman to follow the GM's desire and pursue Vladimir Guerrero. As a deal with Guerrero neared finalization, Sheffield rescinded his demands. Steinbrenner convened a Guerrero or Sheffield meeting.

    The New York group plus Newman in Tampa voted for Guerrero. The Tampa contingent, which included Sheffield's uncle Dwight Gooden, voted for the St. Petersburg-based Sheffield. It was a tie, which Steinbrenner broke in favor of Sheffield.

    or, even better (scarier):

    The most disturbing high school [player] loss is Mark Prior, picked 43rd overall in 1998. Though they budgeted the $1.5 million Prior wanted, the Yanks low-balled initially at $800,000. By the time the Yanks reached $1.5 million, Prior was infuriated and decided to go to college.
    Internationally, the Yanks have been more aggressive financially than most teams, and endured big-time flops such as Kats Maeda, Jackson Melian, Andy Morales, Adrian Hernandez and Edison Reynoso. Yet in 1998, they finished second to the Angels' $900,000 for a Venezuelan righty named Francisco Rodriguez. How about a Yankee staff right now with Prior and Rodriguez?

    I think I just blacked out. Talk about dodging some bullets. With $200 million spent, the lack of quality major leaguers on that team is almost embarassing. Kind of telling when you could throw a rock at a stadium and hit a fan more capable of building a roster. Cashman really should be fired, though as this article points out, he hasn't been the "in-power" GM for a while now.

    ESPN.com recently did an article on "Most Underrated Players in Baseball," a really fun exercise, I thought. So before I sign off, I felt like listing who I'd pick at every position. Maybe I'll elaborate later on, maybe not.

    C: Brian Schneider, WSH- easily the best defensive catcher in baseball, and while he really isn't much of a hitter, throwing out 50% of basestealers and making your entire (largely mediocre) staff better will make up for a lot of that.

    1B: Derrek Lee, ChC- this was a tough one because most 1B are usually pretty well lauded, and Derrek Lee is fast on pace to actually becoming very aptly "rated." But for now, I'll stick with him over Travis Hafner and Justin Morneau just because he's been doing it longer- really solid hitter with power and an absolutely tremendous defender.

    2B: Marcus Giles, Atl- one man's underrated is another man's favorite, so forgive me if Giles is well represented, but as far as I can tell, he's one of the three best 2B in baseball. Great glove, very good hitter. Mark Bellhorn and Aaron Freel have a case here as well.

    3B: Corey Koskie, Tor- he's getting to the down years of his career I think, but this was a great defensive 3B with some great power, plate discipline and decent durability. Pre- Boston it was probably Bill Mueller, and in a couple years people may be overlooking Melvin Mora if he continues his pace of the last two seasons.

    SS: Carlos Guillen, Det- second best SS in baseball when healthy, no question. Not always healthy though.

    LF: Aubrey Huff TBY- not picking him for his glove obviously, but for the fact that he's not the best hitter on the Rays by default- he's actually a really great power hitter. I'd pick Adam Dunn if only because people tend to discount him from the strikeouts- but he lead the league in HR last year, so people must be catching on. Dunn is one of the most productive hitters in baseball right now.

    CF: Brad Wilkerson, WSH- great plate discipline, some power, and can cover a good deal of ground in CF. A real athletic, adaptible player that seems to be good no matter where you play him in the field or the lineup.

    RF: Bobby Abreu, Phi- some of you already know how I feel about this one. Lance Berkman is one of the best hitters in baseball, and you never hear his name either. It's a shame.

    SP: Mark Buehrle, CWS- the Bobby Abreu of pitchers. He's good every single year, and like Livan Hernandez- someone else worthy of the selection- he is a fucking HORSE, well over 225 IP year in, year out. Lefty, good stuff, eats innings and wins games. What more do you want?

    RP: BJ Ryan, Bal- he had every bit the great season Francisco Rodriguez had last year- tons of strikeouts (he lead the Orioles in Ks last year) in relief pitcher innings, doesn't give up HRs, walks very few batters. He's probably the best pitcher on the Orioles right now. Keith Foulke was the easy choice pre-Boston, but it's tough to be underrated in Boston or New York.

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